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8 March 2007 Edition

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Former POWs refute anti-Sinn Féin ad

A number of former republican prisoners whose names appeared in an anti-Sinn Féin advertisement printed in Belfast daily The Irish News and The Derry Journal have expressed anger that their names were used without their consent.
Well known Tyrone republican, Frankie Quinn, speaking to An Phoblacht said that he had contacted Danny McBrearty – who is behind the so-called  ‘Concerned Republicans’ grouping which placed the advertisement – through a supplied e-mail address but that McBrearty hadn’t replied.
Quinn also penned a letter to the Irish News disassociating himself from the ‘Irish Republican Ex-POWs Against the RUC/PSNI and MI5’ advert but the paper refused to carry it.
“I am angry that my name appeared on this list. It is mischievous because I have always supported the peace process and the initiatives the Sinn Féin leadership has taken to move the process forward, including the decision taken at January’s special Ard Fheis on policing.
“I’m also angry that the people behind this advert have not replied to me to explain why they printed my name”.
In a statement Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney, himself a former POW and H Block hunger striker, said that the signatories of the advertisement, “represented only a small fraction of republicans imprisoned during the conflict”.
He said, “Over 15,000 republicans went through the prisons in the course of the armed struggle”.
It has also become clear that a huge proportion of the names used the advertisement, which purports to be signed by former IRA prisoners, are actually the names of members various factions within republican micro-groups and INLA members.
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